How Workers Compensation Insurance Protects Your Employees

image of various employeesWorkers compensation insurance is required in most states, although the requirements vary greatly. Having this insurance is an added expense, but it protects your employees. It also won’t leave you on the hook for lost wages, medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses. Find out more about covered events and when to file a claim.

How Workers Compensation Insurance Works

Workers compensation provides medical benefits and wages when an employee experiences an injury or gets sick at work. The main purpose of this coverage is to get employees back into working shape quickly.

Employees receive access to experienced professionals to aid their recovery. These benefits may include:

  • A large network of health providers, available through a workers compensation claim.
  • Case managers to assist with care and treatment coordination.
  • Prescription drug coverage that excludes out-of-pocket costs for employees.

Your agent can help you put together a plan that covers the unique needs of your business and employees.

Types of Injuries Covered by Workers Compensation

Workers compensation covers injuries received while on the job. This covers your business location as well as remote worksites. For example, you own a moving company and one of your workers falls and breaks her arm. Since she is performing activities related to her job, she is most likely covered under workers compensation insurance.

For covered events, workers compensation also covers illness contracted while on the job. For example, if mold is discovered in your building, and one of your employees becomes sick as a result, their medical bills and lost wages are paid for by workers comp.

What’s Not Covered Workers Compensation Insurance?

Deliberate acts are not covered under this policy. These include:

  • Injuries sustained in a fight the employee started
  • Injuries due to working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Emotional injuries separate from a physical workplace injury

When Should You File A Workers Compensation Claim?

It’s important to file a workers compensation claim as soon after the incident as possible. If you aren’t sure what events are covered, check with your insurance provider before filing a claim. Here are some examples of events covered by most policies:

  • The injured person is employed by your business
  • An employee gets sick due to the nature of their work
  • The employee comes to harm while performing job-related duties
  • The employee is injured at work

Workers compensation insurance protects your business assets as well as those who work for you. Without this coverage, your business might be responsible for thousands of dollars in medical costs.

Workers’ Compensation and Fault

image of employee falling off ladderDoes it matter who is at fault if a worker suffers an injury on the job? It can be very frustrating. You told the worker to follow a specific set of steps. They did not do so. It is their fault they have an injury. Do you have to pay for it? Generally speaking, workers’ compensation insurance covers worker injuries no matter who is at fault. There are limitations here, however. Business owners need to understand what they can expect in this situation. Here is a closer look.

Why Fault Does Not Matter

In most workers’ compensation insurance policies, the goal is to provide financial compensation to cover most or all of a worker’s injury costs if they happened during the normal course of business. That sounds pretty simple.

Yet, when you have a situation in which the employee’s actions or inactions cause the injury, it’s frustrating to know if your business has to pay for the losses. This is how workers’ compensation insurance generally works.

One big instance in which this does not apply is intention. If a worker specifically hurts himself or herself because they want to collect workers’ compensation coverage, they generally do not have protection. Coverage is not going to pay out if the worker specifically or maliciously tries to file a claim. This would be an instance of fraud. Be sure to report that to your insurance company.

Why Is This the Coverage Setup?

In most cases, workers’ compensation is a way for employers to avoid lawsuits. It’s true – a worker can sue you if he or she has a reason to do so.

However, by providing workers’ compensation insurance, there is less likely a chance of that occurring. In some systems, the worker accepting workers’ compensation surrendered the right to sue the employer, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This does not apply in all states, and some limitations apply across the board (such as in situations where claim limits are a concern).

What applies in your situation? If an employee suffers an injury, you have the legal right to question it, even if you provide the employee with your workers’ compensation. If you believe it was an intentional injury, tell your business insurance company about it. They will pursue this if it is worthwhile.

You cannot fire an employee for filing a claim either. You can work with your workers’ compensation insurance company to minimize the risk of having to pay out on claims that are fraudulent.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Rig Injuries

As you might know, running an oil rig or well site is a dangerous endeavor. Multiple personal safety hazards exist throughout the complex. Numerous safety laws govern conduct. So, if someone gets hurt while at work, then you might face a variety of challenges.image of accident report Foremost, you might have to provide that person with workers’ compensation. Often, it you will have no option but to do so. Here’s why.

If a workers’ comp claim arises on your property, you usually must address it. You’ll have to remember a few things to do so.

Workers’ Compensation for the Oil/Gas Industry

Accidents might happen on your site at any time. They might include:

  • Burns
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Indeed, if it can happen, it very well might.

If your employees get hurt, then it might be the business’s duty to cover them for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp will provide supplementary income help for employees injured at work. Most businesses in the oil and gas industry must carry this coverage by law.

Workers’ comp is a heavily-regulated industry, so addressing claims might take time. It might also involve the authorities.

Documenting Workers’ Comp Rig Claims

An employee might approach you, and want to file a claim on the rig’s workers’ comp insurance policy. Depending on regulations in your state and from your insurer, the process for doing so might vary. However, most will go like this.

  • You will provide the employee with the workers’ comp insurance policy information. They will then file a claim on their own. The insurance company will likely require them to seek medical care. They might also have to gather more information from you. This ensures that the employee can prove that they got hurt at work. It reduces the risk of fraud.
  • In the meantime, you might have to gather information on your own. You might need to take pictures of the scene or take statements from witnesses. Sometimes, this is the employee’s duty or the insurance company’s.
  • You might have to turn over certain information to the workers’ compensation insurer. For example, if a camera captured the incident, the insurer might want to view the film to verify the claim.
  • You might have to report the claim to an industry regulator or your state’s workers’ comp board. These parties might launch investigations of their own into the injury.

Please note: Do not start your own investigation without checking with your insurer. You might face various rules that limit your ability to interfere in the claims process.

If you face an injury claim on your rig, immediately contact your workers’ compensation insurance company. They can help determine what the process will look like going forward.

Providing Workers’ Compensation for Rig Workers

You likely know that an oil rig owned or used by your company is a very hazardous place. Of course, there are significant risks of fires and explosions. However, other threatens await you or your employees. If something happens, even accidentally, someone’s injuries might

image of drilling rig

wind up costing them a lot of time and money. In such situations, you might actually owe them financial assistance. It’s called workers’ compensation. Here’s what it’s all about.

Workers’ comp helps protect employees hurt on the job. Therefore, it is some of the most important commercial insurance any oil & gas company should carry. It will particularly come in handy in case of mishaps on your rigs.

What’s Workers’ Comp

There are a lot of workplace safety laws, and workers’ rights regulations out there. All in all, they stipulate that you have to create a safe working environment for your workers. Furthermore, they often institute workers’ compensation requirements.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. It helps supplement the income of workers who get hurt or injured on the job. It stems from the fact that those injured at work can’t continue working in their recovery. Yet they need income nonetheless. It might help pay for their medical bills while they cannot work. It can also supplement their income and other critical costs until they can get well again.

Businesses usually have to offer this protection to their workers. Regardless of whether an accident was the business’s fault, the injured worker might have a right to file a claim. Even a simple fall in the bathroom that results in a shoulder injury might qualify for coverage.

Why Rig Workers Need Workers’ Compensation

Usually, as long as your rig workers are full-time employees, they usually qualify for workers’ compensation. Even in some cases, part-time employees qualify as well. A multitude of injuries might occur on your rigs. They might include:

  • Burns from fire and explosion risks
  • Slip and fall risks on slippery surfaces
  • Head injury risks from falling objects
  • Risks to limbs from machinery
  • Inhalation and breathing risks from smoke or solvents

In that vein, any injury risks that might happen in any office could also happen on a rig. Someone could twist an ankle in the restroom. Or, they might burn themselves in the break area. Therefore, it is up to you to do all you can to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. You should institute the strongest possible safety regulations and security requirements for all workers. Then if something does happen, provide them with full instructions on how to file, prove and investigate a workers’ compensation claim.

Common Safety Risks at Oil Drill Sites

The oil and gas industry is a major employer throughout the southwest. Indeed, over 50,000 people in Oklahoma work in the production industry, with countless others in related sectors. Neighbor Texas has over 220,000 industry employees. Given the considerable industry size, the risk of employment liabilities, namely workers’ comp risks remain prevalent. All industry leaders should implement the strictest workplace safety standards at drill sites. What are these? What are some simple steps you can take today to make a site safer?

Sunset over Oil Drilling Site

Common Injury Risks at Drill Sites

Oil is a dangerous commodity if mishandled. Likewise, harvesting it requires considerable manual labor and an exposure to potentially-harmful hazards. Without following precautions, employees could sustain grievous injury from a sudden mishap.

Some of the common injury threats at your drill site might be:

  • Burn risks from fire, explosion or toxic exposure
  • Amputation risks stemming from mishandled equipment
  • Fall and slip risks, either from heights or on wet surfaces
  • Head injury risks from falling objects, falls or other incidents
  • Poison risks, again from toxic exposure

If you can imagine an accident, chances are it can happen on your rig. Therefore, observe every possible safety precaution to keep your employees safe.

Protecting Your Employees

To reduce employee liabilities at drill sites, take a two-tiered approach. First, you must abide by all industry, OSHA and other legal safety practices. Second, it’s often a good idea to promote your own safety regulations on top of individual mandates.

  • Employees must wear safety gear, no exceptions. These might include harnesses, hard hats, masks, eyewear and other items. Often, fire-retardant clothing will also come in handy.
  • Ensure that all employees have proper training for their respective tasks. Employees should not undertake tasks that they do not understand.
  • Carry workers’ compensation insurance. Most employers in Oklahoma must offer this coverage, though some exceptions exist. The coverage will help you compensate employees injured or made ill while on the job. Talk to your agent about your need for workers’ comp risks. Furthermore, consider other policies like general liability, EPLI insurance and personal injury coverage.
  • Place security warnings throughout the drilling area. Make sure any machinery has a warning label and instructions on how to use it.
  • Clean up any spills immediately and isolate any machine damage if it occurs.

Don’t forget, in the end, to foster a system of security and safety for employees themselves. They should receive adequate training in safety procedures to protect themselves and keep an eye out for potential hazards. A secure working environment will likely go a long way towards reducing liabilities.

Common Workers’ Comp Incidents on Rigs, and How to Prevent Them

The oil and gas business has plenty of risks, primarily because workers deal with extremely sensitive commodities. Those who directly handle raw materials often have the highest risks of personal injuries. And if injuries occur, employees often have a legal right to requestimage of ocean oil rig workers’ compensation. Whether you run oil rigs or refineries, there’s a chance for injuries. What are some of these, what can you do to prevent them?

On one hand, you must provide a safe workspace for all your employees. However, because you cannot prevent every accident, that’s why you need workers’ comp. These two avenues can eventually converge to help you create a more secure environment for workers.

Common Injuries in the Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and gas are expensive, and dangerous in the right circumstances. Therefore, those who handle them can experience any number of injuries. These might include

  • Slips and falls from slick surfaces
  • Burns, both chemical and from combustion
  • Bodily injuries from heavy machinery
  • Head, neck or brain injuries

Any number of other injuries might result. Someone might get hurt in the break room, or while running a business errand. Situations like these might trigger the need to tap into workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Workers’ comp provides supplementary income for workers who get hurt on the job. It’s financial protection for those who might not be able to work because of injuries.

An injury on the job might make an individual unable to work. Therefore, they can’t make an income. At the same time, they could accrue medical bills and even debt. With workers’ compensation, they can get the supplemental assistance to cover these costs, and increase their own security.

Furthermore, workers’ comp insurance can benefit the businesses that carry them, as well. When employees agree to take workers’ comp, they often surrender their right to sue the business for compensation. Therefore, this coverage eliminates the need for costly litigation for both parties, and makes them both more secure.

Preventing Employee Injuries

Every oil and gas business should engage in proper risk management. This means implementing safety practices that help keep risks of worker injury to a low ebb

To keep injury risks low, rigorously enforce all workplace safety laws. There are standards that all industries have to follow, so make sure you know the ones that apply to your workers. Furthermore, require safety gear in all situations. Also make sure that you hold employees to all appropriate standards of conduct at all times.

With these steps, you can better keep the risk of workers’ comp claims to a minimum. Whenever you need policy assistance, your agent can help you through the claims or adjustment process. Call InsuranceOne Agency today at 800.475.0001 with any questions or to begin your coverage.